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Old 04-03-2006, 03:12 PM   #1
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cycling new 55gal. pics, questions...

hey all,
well, after a month of waiting, researching and building i have finally set up my first aquarium ever! it's a 55gal with an undergravel and an emperor 400 filter, a 250watt stealth heater, and spectra stone nutmeg natural gravel as a substrate. i bought the tank and undergravel filter used from a friend who decided to cut down on the number of tanks he had (serious mts there!). i built the stand myself and painted it to match the room it's in. i set it all up last night (4/2) and got everything running. i picked up a test kit today and will see where the parameters are tonight when i get home.
i am planning on doing the fishless cycle, i think with the used ugf and the previously used decorations it shouldn't take too long at all. question: is that enough to start the cycle or should i put in some of the old substrate (i have about five pounds of it) or a shrimp? if i do put in some of the old substrate, can i put it right in the media container of the emperor 400, or should i just put it right on the new substrate?
i'm planning a peaceful community tank. love the look of rainbow's (particularly boesemani's, it's what i plan to start with. if anyone has experience with this species i'd appreciate the input) and my wife would like some angels. pretty much a lot of smaller species is what we're going for. it's killing me, but if there's one thing i've picked up on it's that patience is your best friend in this hobby, so i will be taking my time!
have seriously spent the last month surfing the net for info, and this is by far the best forum i've come across, so plan on seeing me here a lot! thanx - chris
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:49 PM   #2
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Put the old media into a pair of old pantyhose right onto the new substrate. Keep in mind the bacteria may not still be active enough to substantially move your cycle along. You need to have an ammonia source to get the cycle going. Pure ammonia works well, make sure there are no detergents in the ingredients.

Your tank and stand look very good! Very glad to have you as a member of our community!
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:10 AM   #3
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thanx, zagz. i'm going to pick up some ammonia tonight. my test results confirmed that my cycle does indeed need that ammonia boost, i had no ammonia or nitrite show up at all . oh well. my pH tested very high at 8.5. general hardness was 8, and carbonate hardness was 6.
i need help understanding these numbers. does the pH being so high mean i'm stuck with cichlids? not that this would be a bad thing, i just really wanted rainbows and angels, which, from the material i've seen, need a pH closer to 6.5 or 7. how about the GH and KH numbers? i don't quite get what information i'm supposed to take from them. this is city tap water i'm using, and of course i used a dechlorinating product after filling the tank. it was hartz anti-chlor. it's quite an old bottle, came with the tank. could it not be effectively removing the chlorine and that's why my pH reading was so high? again, any help is appreciated.
thanx - chris
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